Defense watching: Trying to spot an effective LA Rams defense

Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams defense
Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Running into the Rams defense

The LA Rams may not be the stingiest team to run against this season, but they are far more consistent.  The LA Rams allowed just 136 yards and one touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys on the ground. The Rams held the Philadelphia Eagles to just 121 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. The Rams limited the Buffalo Bills to just 101 yards and one touchdown on the ground.  Finally, the Rams held the New York Giants to 136 yards and no touchdowns on the ground. These teams were all very effective in the running game in 2019.

The Rams have not been effective at run defense this year. Teams who choose to run the ball against the Rams are doing so effectively. Teams are running at a better average-per-run against the Rams than they are for their season average.  And there are reasons for that. The Rams employ a 3-4 defense and have been struggling to fill the inside linebacker roles for the team. Right now, the Rams are going with Kenny Young and Troy Reeder until starter Micah Kiser recovers from a groin injury.

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Run D needs work

Opponents use the running game to keep the Rams offense off the field.  As long as they have the ball on offense, the ball is not in the hands of the Rams quarterback Jared Goff. The fact that they are doing better than their average is a clear indication that teams will continue to run the ball against the Rams.

The Rams are not good enough at run defense yet. They have not allowed any single player to run for over 100 yards on them yet. But with teams looking for ways to derail the Rams ofense, the chances that the Rams will encounter a strong running game is most certainly an inevitablity this year. And that is not considering the fact that the NFC West is loaded with teams who run the ball very effectively. The Rams ability to hold teams below average at running is concerning.